Tag Archives: intimacy

How Birth Control May Put a Wet Blanket on Your Sex Life

A frequent concern of married couples is change in sex drive, especially a common decrease in sex drive for the woman. I’ve shared many possible problems and solutions, including foods that may increase libido and 4 tips to boost libido.

I probably haven’t spent enough time talking about medications being a very common cause of low libido. The medications that reduce sex drive could be taken by either spouse. However, birth control (i.e. the birth control pill or variations) is probably the most frequently used medication that is known to cause a significant decline in libido for users. This decline is potentially long-lasting because of  hormonal changes.

Paul and Lori Byerly recently covered the latest research on the effects of the birth control pill on your sex life. They did a terrific job outlining the research findings at The Marriage Bed. I would encourage you to read this post.

Some couples have medical reasons to choose this option despite the side effects, or otherwise feel it is the right choice for them. Even if that is the case, it is important to have the facts about all medication side effects, especially those that may affect the quality of your marriage and sex life. 

I would add that Dustin Riechmann at Engaged Marriage has written about natural family planning, which some people joke about, but which has shown to be quite effective (99%) when properly used. For Dustin and his wife and for a growing number of people who want to choose a family planning method that is environmentally friendly, without side effects and fits their moral worldview, it’s worth learning about.

Lori’s upcoming book, First Kiss to Lasting Bliss: Hope & Inspiration for Your Marriagewill be available December 8th on Amazon.com. Read about 12 inspiring couples who used adversity to strengthen their marriages. To learn more, go to www.LoriDLowe.com.  Visit the book’s Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/LastingBliss.

TOP 10 Marriage Blog Nominations
Stu and Lisa Gray of Stupendous Marriage are gathering nominations for their 3rd Annual Top Marriage Blogs List. If you’re looking for other marriage blogs, check out their list from the last couple of years. Also, you can check out my blogroll page lots of good sites. In any case, feel free to nominate any of your favorite blogs and encourage the community that gives back to marriages. I’ll let you know when the voting starts as well.

Related Links:
These ladies add a lot of thoughtful discussion to today’s blog post topic:
Julie Sibert with Intimacy in Marriage talks about the effects of birth control
Sheila Gregoire with To Love, Honor & Vacuum talks about the range of birth control options and what is best.
Hot, Holy & Humorous writes Want to Rave about Your Birth Control?

Photo by nuttakit courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

Which Foods Can Boost Libido?

“Keep the Sparks Alive” Series

Sometimes a change or dip in libido has more to do with hormone or energy levels that have changed. Other times, it’s a matter of exhaustion or being overscheduled.  Experts say particularly for women, scheduling time for date nights and intimacy is key to maintaining a strong connection.

For an increasing number of couples, ubiquitous technology and inability to unplug is making it difficult to physically connect and interact with others in a human way. (Achieve True Connectivity.) Share at least an hour of your day with your loved ones while you are disconnected from technology, including TV, cell phone or computer. (Read Is the Cell Phone Impeding Your Relationship?)

If you’re getting enough rest, and giving each other dedicated time, you might find certain foods affect your level of desire. It’s certainly worth supplementing diet before looking to modern medicine. Some foods have smells or shapes that affect us, and others can alter our body chemistry. Quite a lot of foods can have a substantial affect on our sex drive. Experiment with how certain foods make you feel.

Let’s start with my favorite. Chocolate has long been considered a love drug, because the ingredients phenylethylamine, tryptophan and anadamine make us feel good. In addition, the caffeine in chocolate may boost female libido. Dark chocolate is the most effective. A 2006 study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that women who ate chocolate on a daily basis had higher sexual function than those who didn’t. In addition to the ingredients above, it contains serotonin to boost your mood. Husbands, you have a very good reason to keep your mates supplied with dark chocolate. Wives, a small amount is ideal.

A great summer treat, watermelon helps improve blood flow to the heart and genitalia because it is rich in citruline, which helps relax blood vessels.

A yummie vegetable that helps increase sex drive in men and women is asparagus, which is rich in folate. Folate helps increase production of histamine, which is essential to maintaining libido. Avocados also increase libidos in men and women due to their B6, folic acid and potassium levels.

Researchers believe figs, which are high in amino acids, can increase libido and increase sexual stamina.

Oysters are said to increase libido in both genders, but those who (like me) dislike them can take a zinc supplement—or they could try pumpkin seeds, also rich in zinc (and without the sliminess).

Sauerkraut is another proven libido booster, at least for men. A 2002 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that 90 percent of men felt a noticeable libido boost after eating sauerkraut.

Eggs, nuts, chilies, nutmeg, turkey, brown rice, garlic and fish (especially salmon) all contribute to healthy sex lives for both partners.

For MEN:

Foods high in zinc boost sperm production. And naturally enhancing your diet can help maintain testosterone levels. Ideal foods include broccoli, steak, beans, bananas, pine nuts, and celery.

For WOMEN:

Libido-enhancing foods help us maintain estrogen levels. Soy has been shown to boost women’s sex drive. Please note: Women with a history of breast cancer should not eat large amounts of soy due to increase recurrence rates. Basil is said to stimulate female fertility and boost libido. Foods that help maintain testosterone levels can also help.

Effective SCENTS

The following SCENTS are helpful because they increase penile blood flow: lemons, doughnuts, and licorice. (However, eating the doughnuts has the opposite effect.) For women, smelling licorice and cucumbers or baby powder provides powerful pheromones.

Sources: You Being Beautiful by Michael F. Roizen, M.D., and Mehmet C. Oz, M.D., Libido-Increasing Food, and Love Hacks.

 Photo by Ambro courtesy of freedigitalphotos.com

At What Age Does the Romance Peter Out in a Marriage?

“Keeping the Sparks Alive” Series

For all the talk about menopause and the fear many men and women have that it will impede their sex lives, it’s the husband who usually determines how long a couple’s sex life lasts. I wanted to share an excerpt from Joe Beam’s Blog on sex in later life because this fact was a surprise to me, and it might be for you as well. (Joe is a national best-selling author who has been interviewed on many TV news programs.

“My friend Dr. Barry McCarthy is not only a brilliant expert in matters of sexuality, he also is really nice guy… Barry first opened my eyes to the fact that men are as complicated as women when it comes to sex. Early in my sexual studies I was this naive, “Well, guys are guys. We don’t have to worry about them, so let’s focus on helping the women with their sexuality.” Barry gently corrected my thinking on that.

Then he told me that for most couples it is the husband who determines when their active sex life ends. He says that 1/3 of men quit having sex at age 65. Another 1/3 at 75. He didn’t talk about that last 1/3 but I imagine we can just call them “men who die happy.”

Experience with couples affirms Barry’s knowledge. (Of course, Barry’s knowledge is based on scientific research and long experience, so they didn’t really need affirming.) By far, no matter what the age, I am asked by more women than men about how to get their spouses to be sexual again. These are women in their 20s through their 80s. (One 80-year-old caller to my radio program told me that she had outlived five husbands and the guy she is dating now is in his 50s. When she asked if I’d like to see her picture, I replied that I DEFINITELY would.

So, guys and gals, at what age in life should we cease being sexually active?

Death.

Before that, no matter what the age, it contributes to the health of husband and wife, to their bonding, to their fulfillment, and to their relationship. Thinking that stopping sex is the thing to do because you are now XX years old is wrong. You can have sex into your hundreds.

Just be careful that you don’t break a hip.”

So whether you’re in your 20s or your 80s, Joe’s admonition gives us motivation to keep the romance blooming throughout our life-long relationship. Does it surprise you that men seem to determine how long their sex lives lasts in most marriages?

Related Link:

This article by the Daily Mail in the U.K. discusses how several couples maintained passion-filled lives after 60, and why they and several experts believe that is the glue that keeps a marriage together. “The Kinsey Sex Institute states that the average 18 to 29-year-old has sex 142 times a year; 30 to 39-year-olds 86 times a year; 40 to 49-year-olds 69 times a year; and the over-50s have sex 52 times a year. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Growing older in a committed relationship doesn’t have to mean a slow slide into celibacy and slippers.

Photo courtesy of Stockvault by Christian Steiniger

What Men and Women Always Need More of in Relationships

“Happy Life: Happy Marriage” Series

I was hoping someone would disagree with my post We Can’t Get No Satisfaction and argue that they are completely satisfied with all that life has to offer. However, if that person exists, he or she has not joined our discussion.  (I think people who have learned to be content in their circumstances certainly do exist, but it’s not likely they could stifle their unmet desires entirely.)

The interesting, yet challenging, part of our inability to be satisfied is that men and women tend to differ as to their areas of primary insatiability. The inability to understand the areas in which your spouse is likely to be dissatisfied can certainly bring conflict into your marriage, and probably already has.

Men and women in general have equally insatiable natures, says Dennis Prager, author of Happiness is a Serious Problem. They share many areas in which they may be unsatisfied, such as material wealth or finding a meaningful purpose. However, each gender has one particular area that is plagued with insatiability. Prager says for women, that area is emotional intimacy; for men, it is sexual variety.  (He goes on to explain that social influence causes men to search for different sexual partners.) Both of these longings are equally strong and can cause dissatisfaction and discord in the relationship.

Prager says the solution lies in first understanding one’s own sex. Much of our frustration may be related to believing that we can attain the unattainable—the ability to be satisfied with something that few can be satisfied about. We must understand our own desires, and then try to understand our partner’s frustrated desires. Within reason, we should attempt to fulfill our spouse’s needs. We also should be understanding when our partner isn’t able to satisfy our desires.

For example, a woman even in a good marriage with a loving husband may be frustrated that she does not receive enough emotional intimacy. Even if she has expressed her need and maybe even increases the amount of emotional intimacy she shares with her spouse, she may never be completely satisfied with their level of intimacy. If she is aware that she can’t be completely fulfilled in this area, perhaps she can appreciate what she does have with her partner. However, the man has a responsibility to attempt to understand her, and work to establish a deeper relationship with her, allowing for time with her and making romantic gestures such as loving touches, giving flowers or other acts that demonstrate love.

Men may also benefit from understanding it is not in their nature to be satisfied sexually. A man may be setting himself up for failure if he thinks he can fulfill his desire for sexual variety by having an extramarital affair, says Prager. “A sexual affair doesn’t quell a man’s urge for variety for anything approaching a year. Shortly after his affair, he is back to sexual square one.” Sharing a good sex life is important to the marriage, even if his desires may not be entirely satisfied. “The man must know that even in the best circumstances—frequent and satisfying sexual relationship with a partner whom he loves—he will still walk around (especially in contemporary Western societies, with their sexual bombardments) with sexual frustration.” Reminding himself of his insatiable sexual nature may help the man appreciate the sex life he shares with this wife.

Understanding how to be happy within marriage means we may have to fight natural impulses to be unhappy or dissatisfied. We can control our mind and remind ourselves of the positive aspects in our relationship. Being grateful, and expressing that gratitude has been repeatedly proven to boost relationships. It is possible to be happy in a relationship, even when we are not completely satisfied.

Do you agree or disagree with the areas of insatiability for men and women? Are they difficult areas to overcome?

Interesting Links:
Check out cool giveaways this week at the Dating Divas.

A bad marriage is worse for her than for him from The Generous Husband. It’s true that research shows a bad marriage impacts the wife emotionally and physically more than the husband.

Photo credit: ©Pavel Losevsky/PhotoXpress.com

Three Steps to Great Sex

“Keeping the Sparks Alive” Series

 

Thanks to Julie Sibert for today’s fabulous Guest Post:

My husband and I learned early in our relationship two vital pieces of information – he doesn’t like to be hungry and I don’t like to be cold.

Armed with these tidbits of wisdom, we have dodged more discord than I can recount. I would never initiate a lengthy conversation 45 minutes before dinner, when insanity from low blood sugar has settled into my husband’s brain.  Likewise, my beloved knows full well that if we were ever to buy a new car, I would look at no other option beyond the seat warmer.  Literally, this is what the salesperson’s voice would sound like to me: “Blah, blah, blah. Seat warmer. Blah, blah, blah.”

Obviously, it wasn’t too hard for us to weave this information into our marital fabric.  But not all pertinent information comes so easy, does it? Like how to have great sex.

When we were first married, we were pretty clueless as to how to sexually satisfy each other (naked and in love, mind you, but clueless nonetheless). It’s not that we didn’t know what sex was.  We both had had sex before we met each other.  We just had never had sex with each other until our wedding night.

We weren’t naïve about this lack of knowledge.  On our wedding night, we closed the door of our hotel room well aware that we were about to embark on some awkwardness.  Not all couples, though, have such an “eyes wide open” approach.

I am convinced that one of the most perpetuated fallacies ever to befall married couples is that amazing sexual intimacy is natural – that it won’t take effort, time, communication, and lots of trial and error (with a fair amount of humor as well).

So many couples journey years (and even decades) of married life never really experiencing great sex.  Some of you reading this right now are well acquainted with that scenario. It drapes across your marriage bed with heaviness. For you, sexual intimacy has been boring at best, and mere obligation at worse. Maybe it’s even caused overwhelming tension in your marriage.

By “great” sex, I’m not just talking about orgasm, fun and passion.  All very nice elements, I might add.  I’m referring instead to really knowing each other sexually – knowing how to turn each other on and experience mysterious oneness. It’s about more than intercourse. It is instead about the little nuances, touches, techniques, intentions and words that add up to sacred sexual knowledge about each other.

Do you genuinely know what it takes to bring your spouse to the edge of intense pleasure, and then lovingly and powerfully push them right over that edge into unabashed ecstasy?   Do you know how to allow your spouse the privilege of doing this to you? Both are essential sides to the same coin.

While the reasons that thwart great sex are many (and some quite serious), for some couples it is more of a matter of indifference. Sex just fell by the wayside, lost beneath the responsibilities of paying the Visa bill, keeping milk in the fridge and washing soccer uniforms. Life happened, and sex disappeared faster than baby socks in a clothes dryer. Or maybe you never nurtured intimacy in the first place. Hot newlywed sex? Pure myth for many people.

If you can identify with any of this, you’re not alone. It’s not that you don’t love your spouse or value your marriage.  It’s not that you’re opposed to sex.  It’s just that sex falls way down on the list (somewhere between organize your 7,000 digital photos and clean the basement floor drain).  In other words, you never get to it. Or you make love so rarely that the likelihood of really knowing each other is…well… highly unlikely.

Are you ready to change those patterns in your sexual intimacy?

Here are three tips to move sex out of the “ho-hum” category and into the “wow!” category:

1. Call it like it is. If your intimacy has stalled or is non-existent (or is just plain boring), then get courageous and draw this into the light. A conversation starter can be as simple as this: “I know sex hasn’t been the greatest for us, and I am wondering what together we can do about that.”  If it causes you too much anxiety to start a verbal conversation, consider writing your spouse a note. At any rate, take a step to lovingly express that you want sex to be a priority.

2. Start with your hands.  For all the focus put on our genital regions, I think there is a lot to be said for the role our hands play.  Touch is powerful.  If you and your spouse have just been going through the motions – quickly getting to the main attraction of intercourse – you are missing out on a full-body experience.  Learn to caress each other. Vary the firmness of your touch, and take your time.  Some areas of particular arousal can be the neck, ears, head, upper arms, inner thighs, chest, behind the knees and across the lower back. Extreme sexual pleasure is built upon a foundation of being aroused.  Touch isn’t just the opening act; touch is the headliner, too.

3.  Try at least one new thing. I’ve never been a big fan of “variety for variety’s sake.” I am, though, a fervent champion of variety that endears a husband and wife to each other sexually.  A married couple is afforded tremendous freedom to pleasure each other sexually, so break out of routines and learn new ways to please each other.  Try at least one new thing (new position, oral sex, making love in a different room, etc.)  Sure, it will feel awkward at first, but together you can discover depths of pleasure you may have never known.

My last suggestion is this: resist the urge to give up too soon. Within sexual intimacy, we are at our most vulnerable emotionally, physically and spiritually. When we feel vulnerable, we are more likely to retreat if things start to feel difficult.  If you do that, though, you won’t break through to information that could significantly improve your marriage. You do want that kind of breakthrough, right?

Sure, my husband knows I don’t like to be cold. And I know he doesn’t like to be hungry. As beneficial as that information has been, it pales to what we know about each other sexually.

I’d love to write more.  But I need to go push a certain someone over an edge.  If you know what I mean.

Julie Sibert writes and speaks about sexual intimacy in marriage.  You can follow her blog at www.IntimacyInMarriage.com. She lives in Omaha, Nebraska, with her husband, their two boys and one rambunctious German Shorthair Pointer puppy. © 2011 by Julie Sibert. 

Photo Credit: @PhotoXpress.com

The Most Sexually Satisfied City in the U.S.

I was as suprised as the next person when Men’s Health recently revealed the number-one sexually satisfied city in the U.S. Take a guess. I thought L.A.? New York? San Fancisco? Think Midwest, folks.

My own hometown of Indianapolis, Indiana, received the high honors, followed by Columbus, Ohio; Fort Wayne, Indiana; Cincinatti, Ohio; and Salt Lake City, Utah. Six of the top 10 slots were in the Midwest. Men’s Health says, “Just that the stretch of I-74 linking Indianapolis to fourth-place Cincinnati should hereafter be known as America’s Sex Drive.”

I’d love to hear your response to this survey. Do you think it’s accurate? And if so, why do you think Midwesterners are more “active”? Is it perhaps less competition for entertainment? The cold weather keeping us indoors? In any case, I think it’s a great opportunity to remind one another that you don’t have to live in an exotic city or look like movie stars to have a satisying sex life.

So, what is the key? I shared this as a guest post a while back, but wanted to add as a resource here…Find the Key to a Passionate Sex Life

A common complaint for long-term married couples is boredom in the bedroom. Yes, new love can be titillating, but having only one monogamous partner doesn’t mean your sex life shouldn’t be entirely fulfilling. In fact, allowing one partner to fully know your sexual needs, preferences and wishes can be ultimately much more fulfilling than having multiple partners. In the book Hot Monogamy—which lives up to its promise of offering “essential steps to more passionate, intimate lovemaking”—author Dr. Patricia Love gives some simple-to implement tips.

  1. Deepen your emotional intimacy. Be honest. Be vulnerable. Be personal. Be real. Sex is never boring when you are intimately connected.
  2. Vary the amount of time you set aside for sex. Sometimes a quickie is just right, especially when it results from spontaneous desire. Often, the routine half-hour, before-bed lovemaking session is perfectly fine. These standbys are necessary with the busy schedules most of us have.
  3. Take your time. Sometimes—perhaps once a month—try to set aside time for a leisurely time period (maybe an hour or more) during which you can share massages, creative sensuality, sharing of fantasies, or slowly pleasing one another. Dr. Love suggests adding 12 leisurely lovemaking sessions each year could improve your sex life more than most any other change. Once a month sounds fairly doable, don’t you think?
  4. Get comfortable talking about sex with your spouse. The willingness to talk about sex, your desires, what you want and don’t want from your lover is critical to your sexual satisfaction. “More than any other factor, your ability to talk freely and honestly about sex is the key to a passionate sex life,” says Dr. Love.
  5. Improve your body image. Accept yourself just as you are. If a low body image is keeping you from fully participating in or enjoying sex, talk about your insecurities with your spouse. Work to build confidence, which is sexy in any body. Read Loving a Woman’s Body for feedback from other couples. Dr. Love provides some very specific tips to overcome low body image in Hot Monogamy.
  6. Understand that differences in sexual desire do not mean your partner is rejecting you. Most couples have one more highly sexed partner (generally the man), and higher testosterone levels are one important reason. Compromise and communication help overcome these differences.
  7. Add romance to your daily life, particularly if you want your partner to become more interested in sexual intimacy.  If you don’t know how to do that, simply ask your wife or husband for his or her top 10 suggestions! She or he will be more than happy to share.

Boredom outside of the bedroom can be just as deadly. Research shows conflict isn’t the only cause of divorce; boredom can kill a marriage. Being bored reduces closeness and slowly decreases marital satisfaction. Find shared fun activities and new adventures to keep your relationship exciting.

Ask your spouse what one thing she or he would like to improve about your sex life, or take the quiz in Hot Monogamy together to find specific areas of improvement.

Photo © Leticia Wilson/PhotoXpress.com

Download New E-book: 10 Secrets to Marital Happiness

Many of you have asked me to compile some of the most important marriage advice into a useful resource that you can share with others. Today, you can download Marriage Gems: 10 Secrets to Marital Happiness at no cost. I’m interested in your feedback on what you consider to be the most important factors or secrets to a happy marriage. Did I leave out any you consider to be essential? What’s your favorite of the ten?

Please pass it on to your friends or family by linking them to this blog post or here. You’ll also see on the page that you can share the e-book via FaceBook, Twitter or other tools, as well as comment on it. I want to thank my amazing designer and great friend Sharron Wright, who helped me make this book stunningly beautiful. (Visit her blog Moms with Grace.) I hope you enjoy the e-book and share it with anyone whom you think would benefit.

In addition to this new e-book, I’ve also added other marriage resources to my blog, including a list of blogs I enjoy, a directory of pro-marriage therapists, and a list of useful marriage books. In case you’re wondering, no one is paying me to recommend any of these resources. Just scan the new pages at the top of the home page to locate them.

If you aren’t a regular subscriber, please consider doing so either via email or RSS in the top right column. We’d love to have you join the conversation here about what challenges you in marriage and what lights your fire.

Schedule an At-Home Massage with Your Honey

Most ladies I know (including myself) absolutely love getting a massage. Many men do as well. New research adds to our understanding that massage not only feels good, but it’s good for us. Thanks to The Generous Husband for sharing the results of the study, completed at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

I’ve previously shared the beneficial effects of touch, and that kissing reduces the stress hormone, cortisol. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that blood tests for those who received either a light massage or Swedish deep-tissue massage received the benefits of reduced cortisol. An added bonus was that volunteers received an increase in white blood cells, which help fight infection. Finally,  they increased oxytocin levels, which help you bond.

What would your partner think if you told them tonight you were going to give him/her a soothing massage? If that’s not your spouse’s favorite thing, ask him or her to schedule some time in this week for your massage. It’s a bonding activity that will help you relax and put the rest of the world out of your mind.

Here are some tips the pros use to enhance the massage and to set the right environment at home:

  • If you don’t have some at home, purchase some massage oil; it works much better than lotion.
  • Turn off your phones, TVs and other electronic devices.
  • Find some soothing music to play, and dim the lights.
  • Light a scented candle if you both like the smell.
  • Warm up the room if it is chilly.
  • You might have some warm towels available to help relax the muscles.
  • Give the person giving the massage direction on how hard you would like the touch and areas that are sore or need more attention.

If you have no idea how to give a massage, schedule one for yourself with a professional, or consider scheduling a couples massage so you can enjoy it together. Then, share the techniques you enjoyed most with one another. Giving one another therapeutic touch can be healing for the body and for the marriage. When is the last time you scheduled an at-home massage?

Photo credit: ©Hannes Eichinger/PhotoXpress.com

Sex Stats for Married and Singles: How do You Measure Up?

The average person in America has sex approximately 60 times a year, according to a study from the American Sex Survey ABCnews.com, The Kinsey Institute. Within every age group from age 18 to over 70 married people had  more sex than singles. The study reported that 70 percent of American men think about sex every day, compared with 34 percent of women. Individuals in the 18-29 age group had sexual intercourse most frequently (96.3 times per year for married, 77.5 times per year for singles). Each decade older corresponded to a decline in frequency of sexual intimacy.

This begs the question, how much affection and intimacy is enough to keep a marriage going strong? Another study of 3,000 British residents by CBCNews in Canada answers this question. The Generous Husband recently reported on this study, explaining that “For a good marriage, you need 4-3-3-2-2.” That is, couples should enjoy four kisses and three cuddles per day. They should have sex three times a week, share two hobbies and have two romantic dinners per week.

I can hear you saying that marriage can’t be broken down into formulas and numbers. I agree, but suggest that the above numbers are reasonable benchmarks. If you want guidance on what behaviors to avoid and focus on, Simple Marriage recently shared 7 Deadly Sins of Relationships, which offers spot-on advice regarding how to keep your relationship strong, and behaviors that could be the death-knell of your love affair.

What do you think of these numeric recommendations? Is communication more important than how often you cuddle, or does physical intimacy bring you closer together?

Photo Credit: ©Mat Hayward/PhotoXpress.com

How Do You Define Intimacy?

What is conjured up in your mind when you hear the word “intimacy”? Chances are the word intimacy has different connotations to you depending on your gender. I’ve read some surveys that suggest women tend to think of the emotional side of intimacy, and men tend to think of physical intimacy. The book 13 Keys to Unlocking Intimacy in Your Marriage by Tony and Alisa DiLorenzo discusses six types of intimacy and how you can achieve them all. I’ve enjoyed their blog, One Extraordinary Marriage for some time; check it out.

I would have been hard pressed to come up with all these types, but I agree they are all important to a strong marriage:

  • Emotional Intimacy (sharing feelings, thoughts, desires)
  • Intellectual Intimacy (common life goals, open communication, mutual understanding)
  • Spiritual Intimacy (shared religious beliefs and observed religious practices)
  • Recreational Intimacy (having fun together and sharing quality time)
  • Financial Intimacy (honesty about all money matters)
  • Physical Intimacy (all physical touch from holding hands to sex)

The advice Alisa and Tony give about how they achieved these six types of intimacy includes many of their mistakes along their journey, from addiction to pornography to finding themselves $50,000 in debt. In that regard, they don’t set themselves up as the perfect couple, but rather a couple who is hoping others can learn from some of their early relationship errors. 

Tony and Alisa offer useful tips from setting boundaries with your parents to negotiating how to spend free time in a way you will both enjoy. The book offers the male and female perspectives on numerous topics, so both genders of readers can relate. It also provides a section for answering questions about your own relationship, which can foster a discussion between you and your spouse. Whether you are young in your marriage or need to revisit some of the positive aspects you used to enjoy, these concepts are key to an enjoyable relationship.

If you’re interested in learning more about these six types of intimacy and how to unlock their potential, you can find the ebook here. (They offer a traditional book, audio book or eBook formats.) Tony also offers an online course called Blow Up My Marriage to help boost your marriage by focusing on your strengths instead of your weaknesses.

My feeling is you can send your marriage into a downward spiral if you spend all your time picking apart your weaknesses and focusing on your perpetual conflicts. Every relationship has these. Instead, focus on what you love about your spouse and how you can grow from there. That is not to say that we don’t all have room to improve. Just don’t tear each other down every day, or you may lose that “lovin’ feeling.”

Fess up, what kind of intimacy did you think of when you read the headline?

Photo Credit: ©PhotoXpress.com